On the eve of an Oscar ceremony in which no film about a woman has a chance at taking home the most prized trophy in the film industry, Goldie Hawn says what we’re all thinking in a new interview: “The fear of women’s movies is embedded in the culture.”
Hawn wasn’t talking about the Best Picture race, but “The First Wives Club.” Yet the point remains: studios are bizarrely averse, perhaps even more so now than twenty years ago when that iconic comedy was released, to make films about girls and women.
“We were all women of a certain age, and everyone took a cut in salary to do it so the studio could make what it needed,” the actress revealed to the Harvard Business Review. “We all took a smaller back end than usual and a much smaller front end. And we ended up doing incredibly well. The movie was hugely successful. It made a lot of money. We were on the cover of Time magazine. But two years later, when the studio came back with a sequel, they wanted to offer us exactly the same deal. We went back to ground zero. Had three men come in there, they would have upped their salaries without even thinking about it. But the fear of women’s movies is embedded in the culture.”
Of course, no sequel ever came into existence.
As for her behind-the-scenes work as a producer, Hawn added that she doesn’t get to stop being a woman just because she’s no longer on screen. “When you’re female working in a male-dominated industry,” she said, “there are unfortunately extra things you need to do—for example, couch opinions in a way that sounds palatable and not threatening. That’s a skill I developed.”